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Sen. Coons cosponsors multiple efforts to lower drug prices

Delaware Public Media

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del) is cosponsoring a series of bills meant to reduce the price of pharmaceuticals and make drug companies more transparent.

He is partnering exclusively with other Senate Democrats on the efforts, but Coons says Republicans have expressed a willingness to work together on the issue and he is hopeful bipartisan legislation will follow.

“The four bills that I am cosponsoring are so far Democrat only, but they are some of the strongest and best-crafted bills I’ve seen,” said Coons. “So I’m hopeful that as these good ideas get shared between senators we’ll begin getting bipartisan bills that have a real good chance of becoming law this year.”

One of the measures is with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Min). It would allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate Medicare drug prices directly with drug manufacturers.

Coons says the federal government has leverage as the single largest funder of prescription drug medication.

“This would allow the federal government to negotiate the best possible price of prescription drugs and as a result, it is predicted to significantly cut the cost of prescription drugs for seniors who are beneficiaries of Medicare Part D,” he said.

Coons is cosponsoring the other three pieces of legislation with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore).

Two of which call for more transparency. One bill would require drug companies to submit public justification each time they spike the price of drugs; another would make public all rebates between drug manufacturers and pharmacy benefits managers.

The last bill would eliminate out-of-pocket cost-sharing for people receiving Medicare prescription drug benefits.

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